Two weeks ago I went to a conference called Problogger on the Gold Coast.
The event itself is the brainchild of Darren Rowse, who created the Problogger website, one of the first and most recognisable websites to teach bloggers – well – how to blog.
I even had the brief and amazing opportunity to sit on stage and speak about my intuition when it came to The Whole Daily and where we are today.
I attended conferences about four times a year of more in my corporate job. We would pack into an exhibition hall or auditorium and nearly every single person there would have a look of disdain on their faces, or were hungover or even snoring (true story). Business cards dropped in glass vases, prizes sometimes rigged to go to the best potential client.
Most sales and marketing reps just hanging for the end of the day when they could chug a few bears and get the hell out of there.
Passion? There was competition maybe. Ego and arrogance a lot of the time, but rarely true passion.
At Problogger there were 500+ people sitting in the space (the stunning QT hotel) who’d made the decision for themselves to spend a weekend away from home, typically in a different state to the one they lived, pay for flights and accommodation that equaled at least $1200 before you even factored in food and beverages.
Personally on top of my flights and accommodation I paid for a Nanny for two days for my kids back at home and long-term parking at the airport. Not cheap.
But the value? I can’t put a price on that.
At 8am each morning we were there, eager-eyed, notepads at the ready, chomping to dive into the information from local and global thought-leaders, scribbling like maniacs and murmuring amongst ourselves with the myriad of ‘Aha’ moments. Just soaking it all in.
There is a light in people who do things to follow their passions that is impossible to ignore.
The way they speak, the way their eyes light up when you ask them a question. Their hands gesticulating along with their conversation because what they’re speaking about matters to them and is too big for them to contain.
While I’m not going to tell you to start a blog, or run an online business, or quit your job today, what I do want to tell you (and a part of me wants to scream at you and shake you as well – sorry – not sorry) is that you must (MUST, MUST) do things that you are passionate about.
And if you don’t know what that is yet you must seek them out and the only way to do this is to get outside your comfort zone and invest in yourself.
Most of the time this is going to cost you money, though it will be the best money you will spend. Every single person I know who follows their dreams invests in their personal or professional development and from their own back pocket. This is a key difference in those that do and those that don’t.
Those who don’t,wait. Those who do…don’t wait for anything!
One of the keynote speakers of the conference, Matthew Michalewicz said, “It’s not education that is expensive – its ignorance”. Although he’s referring to business in many ways, he’s also referring to your life in general. To find yourself you must be willing to invest in yourself. While this will typically mean money, it will also mean time.
I used to hear the term all of the time in my corporate job that ‘time is money’, but I realise that time is much more valuable than money will ever be.
If I give a $100 note to a homeless man on the street, I can make that $100 back again quite easily. However if I give something four hours of my time and it doesn’t light me up or it shuts me down emotionally or spiritually, I will never in my whole life make that time back.
We are not here for a long time in this carnation and we don’t get the chance again when we realise we missed our opportunity to find out what lights us up. In my coaching I see many women who are stuck in a vortex of ‘I don’t know’. ‘I don’t know what to do, where to start, what to say, who to talk to, when to go, why I should…’
The list goes on. I sympathise, I was there myself some years ago and I know it can be hard to break out of it.
So with the memory of these 500 excited people with their sparkly passion and dream-filled eyes, energetic hand and arm gesticulations and deep connection to following their ‘why’, I implore you to go.
Go and buy that book, book that course, or that flight, take that class, listen to that podcast, lock in your coaching with that guide, leader or teacher who has been calling to you. You will find your passion if you invest yourself into it.
The best way to not change your life is to stay still.
The only way to become the person you deserve to be is to seek her out.
Have you found your passion? We would love to hear about how this came about in the comments below. Or hare what you think it may be and how you’re going to seek it out.